Astros owner Jim Crane thinks Roger Clemens’ comeback could continue in Houston. That’d be news to the 50-year-old right-hander, who doesn’t sound too enthusiastic about the concept.
Crane claimed there is a too Clemens could pitch this season for the majors’ worst team.
“We haven’t heard from Roger, so that’s still up in the air,” he revealed.
The last-place Astros started a weeklong homestand on Monday that includes 3 games against the Chicago Cubs and 4 against the Phillies. Their only remaining home games after this stretch are against the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals – 2 teams in postseason contention.
Crane recounted he wouldn’t pitch the 7-time Cy Young Award winner against a contender, which leaves this week as the only option. Baseball scores
But Clemens said the only way he would pitch this season was against a team in contention.
“I can tell you right now and they might know also, that if I was going to go do it, I’m going to pitch against a contender, that’s who I want to knock out,” Clemens related. “Why would I want to waste my time running around and getting in shape? I am getting over to Minute Maid (Park); I may crank it up and get it over 90 for a contender. We’ll knock them right out of the playoffs. That will be the fun. Pitching against someone that’s not in contention wouldn’t be any fun for me.”
“It’s not going to happen.”
Crane would not say if the team will reach out and try and try to entice Clemens to come back to the majors for the 1st time since pitching for the New York Yankees in 2007.
“We’re just going to sit tight,” Crane said. “We’ll do nothing and see if he calls us, but we might call him, who knows?”
Clemens pitched 3 1/3 scoreless innings in his 1st start for Sugar Land of the independent Atlantic League, and did not allow a run in 4 2/3 innings in his 2nd start.
When asked questions about pitching for Houston this season, Clemens stated that he didn’t see it taking place because of the time it took him to get over his 1st start.
The Astros sent a scout to observe both of his outings. GM Jeff Luhnow said he didn’t have any new information on the subject.
“Right now we’ve got a 6-man rotation and we’ve lined up that rotation for the rest of the year, so I’m not expecting any changes,” he revealed. “The words that I’ve heard Roger say suggest that that isn’t front and center in his mind. At that point I’m not expecting it.”
Clemens earned $160 million and won 354 games in a 24-year career with the Boston Red Sox, N.Y Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Astros. His 4,672 strikeouts are 3rd-most and he was chosen for 11 All-Star games.
Clemens had 2 great seasons with the Astros after he turned 40, going 18-4 with a 2.98 ERA in 2004 to win his record 7th Cy Young Award. He was 13-8 with a career-low 1.87 ERA in 2005.